Was the media asleep?

Why did no one ask DVH about the decision to have Bonfiield bunt vs putting hunter in from the beginning when it was an obvious bunting situation? Now can we speculate.
I’ll go.
DVH, did you regret sending Bonfield up to bat when you knew you wanted him to bunt over the runners?

Curious about the decision. Obviously glad fletcher bailed them out.

I really don’t think it matters. Luke Should have been able to bunt. He failed and popped up in foul territory Coach put in a pinch hitter with the count 0-1. That’s a coaches decision.
We don’t need to complain about decisions a coach makes! Do you agree with his decisions with the pitching staff?

Yep…weird they didn’t ask him

There are limited questions available in that setting and a play that ultimately had no bearing on the outcome of the game isn’t high on the priority list.

it was a strange deal to be sure but in all honesty that was the worst form I’ve ever seen in trying to bunt and I think it shocked DVH so bad he had to try to get someone else in…do they not bunt in Batting practice…back in the day you always bunted one up each line and then took your swings.

I haven’t seen BP in a while, but each time that I’ve watched they have practiced bunting.

The commentators questioned the decision to bunt in that situation. Questioned it further when the first attempt failed & we sent Wilson in to pinch hit. I thought the same thing. Thought Bonfield had a better chance at getting a hit or even a sac fly to move the lead runner to third than to give them an out on a sac bunt or worse, a strike out. But I always defer to the coach’s judgment.

I understand why no one brought it up, but I’d still like to know Dave’s thoughts on why.

Fortunately it became totally irrelevant with Fletcher’s next bat.

The sacrifice bunt should almost be a sure thing and more certain to move our two runners up. There was about a 2/3 chance Bonfield would not advance the runners so I don’t question DVH’s decision to expect Bonfield to handle his call for a sac bunt. Now, the fact that Bonfield floundered so bad at the first bunt attempt, that I blame on coaching or lack thereof. It appears we just got lazy this year depending so much on the long ball that we did not stay sharp in our small ball skills. But, if that is the worst coaching he does this year, I would say the good more than balances out the bad. JMVVVVVHO.

I’m sure you’re correct. However, when Bonfield came up & showed bunt the commentators mentioned that he’d only done it once all season. That factored into my thinking at the time. Should have mentioned that. Still, when Wilson came in with the 1-1 count he was hamstrung. I don’t understand why Dave had him attempt the bunt after he got the second strike. I’m not saying he was wrong, but I’d like to hear his comments

I bet the bunt call with two strikes was as much a teaching moment (along with pulling your cleanup hitter for failing to bunt correctly) for the team as anything else. “DVH damn well expects them to be able to sac bunt when needed.” I bet they all take bunting practice very seriously on their day off today.

In my view, a bunt in that situation in the 8th was a no-brainer (late innings, 1st and 2nd no outs, 3-run lead, chance for an easy insurance run or two, double-play threat coming to the plate, a guy who is 3-for-3 on the game coming up after that with a runner in scoring position even if the bunt fails).

The problem was that Bonfield, for all the great things he can do at the plate, isn’t a good bunter. He’s rarely called upon to do it and when he has been (in previous seasons) he’s been unable to get the job done. I recall a couple of seasons ago DVH replacing him in a similar situation after a number of failed bunt attempts.

Wilson, on the other hand, is a lefty and fast, hard to double up and surely a better bunter than Bonfield. Besides, had Bonfield gotten on in that at bat, I suspect you’d have seen Wilson run for him anyway (which happened in the SEC Tourney game against Florida in a similar situation).

IF — and I’d say it’s big if — DVH made a mistake there, it was not sending Wilson to the plate to start the at-bat. But I disagree with the announcers’ assessment (which was made without the background knowledge DVH has regarding Bonfield’s bunting ability and history and Wilson’s skill with a bat).

As for bunting with two strikes, a foul bunt strikeout is better than a double play ball there and DVH still had his two hottest hitters coming up with less than 2 outs. And see what happened? RBI singles by Fletcher and Shaddy. Got the runs home anyway because DVH knew the odds and knew his team.

FWIW, I agree with all of this. Was reading the thread and going to make an attempt at posting something similar, but after reading LL’s post there is no need. He nailed it.

DVH is all about execution. Period. He’s not going to pull any punches when he expects you to get the job done. A lifelong friends son was the DH several years ago. This team ended up in Omaha. We attended a Vol - Hog game in Knoxville that year mainly so we could visit with our friends son. In his second AB he took a 3rd strike looking and I told my wife “DVH will pull him after that mistake”. Sure enough he was out of the lineup. My wife could not understand. I told her that was big boy baseball.

He’s not there to please parents, he’s there to win.

They work on bunting every practice. I watched Van Horn work with Bonfield on bunting last Saturday at Creighton. Bonfield punched at one and Van Horn told him, “No, bunt the ball, don’t punch it.” They worked on getting the bat flatter and Bonfield improved in that session. Of course that all is easier when the BP pitcher is throwing you a ball to bunt instead of a 90-plus mph fastball.


They work on bunting every practice. I watched Van Horn work with Bonfield on bunting last Saturday at Creighton. Bonfield punched at one and Van Horn told him, “No, bunt the ball, don’t punch it.” They worked on getting the bat flatter and Bonfield improved in that session. Of course that all is easier when the BP pitcher is throwing you a ball to bunt instead of a 90-plus mph fastball.

[/quote]I thought it was strange to ask Bonfield to bunt. My thinking was “pinch bunt” for him or let him hit away. I’m glad Van Horn inserted Wilson, but he started with a strike against him (a tough gig).

Good points, Loyd. You convinced me.

I was fine with the strategy; it made sense. The only thing I would like to know is what he told Bonfield after pulling him.

was watching DVH and looked like he was pretty terse. I’m thinking he just told him he was pulling him for a PH, and that was about it. Bonfield didn’t act is if he knew much more than that, but I’m sure he figured out pretty quick it was related to his horrible bunt attempt. what would be interesting to know is what if anything coach said to him later in clubhouse.

Knowing Dave, it was probably something along the lines of, “I’ve got to have someone who can lay down this bunt right now. We’re going to need you again in the next game.”

I don’t think it is a lot different than pulling Bonfield for a pinch runner late in a game; you put someone in who is better equipped for the task at hand. Bonfield knows his role and from all accounts has been an outstanding team player.

They practice bunting every day. They have that as part of their BP. Generally, they set up a pitching machine behind the batting cage. After their rotation thrown by a coach, they jump in front of the pitching machine and put a few bunts down. Still, that’s not something I expect Luke Bonfield to be doing much as a clean-up man. He got one chance and it didn’t go well. They moved to the guy who may be the team’s best bunter, Hunter Wilson. I understand all of that perfectly, so I really don’t see that anyone needed to ask a question about it. If you know what is going on, do you waste the only question you are going to get in that setting on that? I doubt it.